My living space is something of a mess. Now, I wouldn't call myself a slob, per se, but I tend to be messy. This is mostly because I'm something of a clutter-bug. I stock up a ton of stuff, and just can't bring myself to get rid of it. When your cleaning routine is basically just shuffling too much stuff into different spaces, you're not doing it right. Now, I've cleaned my room many times before, and had it looking amazing. And then, six months later, its back where I started. My mom has stepped in once or twice and cleaned it. And it has reverted the same way. After a certain point, we both decided that it was probably never going to change, and no one has touched it since.
Then, while I was hanging out with a friend, she mentioned that one of her other friends had just read Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and supposedly, it changed her life. So, finally fed up with tripping over the same pile of junk while trying to get to my slippers, I went online and requested it from the library. It's a small book--just over 200 pages (including the index), and I'm almost done with it. This book has the potential to change everything.
Of course, that sounds silly. How can one book change your life that drastically? Well, remember--I'm a book person, and books do have a profound effect on me. But, there is a simple beauty in Kondo's theory for tidiness which makes me think that this could work for me. My biggest issue with getting rid of things is quite simply guilt:
- I never wore this, so I feel like I wasted money if I give it away
- This was a gift; I didn't like it when I got it, but I don't want to make that person (who probably forgot they gave it to me) to feel bad
- I'm going to get rid of something and someone well-meaning says "Oh, are you going to get rid of that? It's so [insert word here: awesome, nice, cute, sentimental, etc]
Kondo's approach is to take each thing in hand, and decide if it brings you joy. It sounds silly, but makes a lot of sense. That skirt I bought but never wore doesn't make me happy. It hangs in the closet like a guilty reminder of money poorly spent. Those books given to me by family and friends that I read once, didn't like, and never want to read again? Of course they don't make me happy, since they take up space and I didn't like them. Or, that outfit I used to fit into but got just a little too chubby to wear? Doesn't make me feel good to see a constant reminder of my weight gain. Cleaning these things out not only helps me to clear out clutter, but also helps me to clear out the clutter in my heart and start fresh.
Kondo recommends starting with clothes, and dumping every single piece of clothing you have in the middle of the floor, and going through all of it at once. I'll be honest, that's just too big of a project for my current schedule. So, instead, I'm tackling one thing at a time, and I started with my sock drawer. And I'm blown away by the change.
Now, these are not actual pictures of my sock drawer, just images I found online, but I want to show you the difference:
(If you can believe it, this is not as messy as mine was)
Stay tuned for more cleaning updates. I'll be tackling my closet and dresser soon, so this should be interesting......Part II: Shirts!